Democritus (460-370 BC) According to Democritus, nature is composed of tiny particles which are in constant motion. He called these particles atoms and classified them in terms of their size, shape, and angularity. Taste was the result of small, angular winding atoms. Sight was the result of atoms flying through the air, hitting the eye, and making a copy of the original object. Thinking was caused by the fastest, smallest atoms. For Democritus, there is no soul or will; life is reducible to patterns of atomic matter.